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AUGUST 8, 2012
A Play We Love: Art

The Blind Eye of Friendship: Art by Yasmina Reza

All friendships contain an element of denial, whereby each party ignores—some may prefer the term accepts—the shortcomings of the other in the interest of maintaining the relationship.  Yasmina Reza’s Tony-award-winning play Art places its characters in situations where they are forced to confront aspects of the relationship they’ve chosen to suppress.  The action begins with Serge, who has purchased a white painting for a considerable sum of money, and shows it to his friend Marc, who dismisses it as “sh&t.”  This flippant response unlocks a series of other resentments, which bring the two friends into conflict.  As with many of Reza’s other works, there is a moment in the play where the resentments fester to the point that there is the threat of imminent violence.  Packed with snappy dialogue, this play uses the tension between traditional and modern art as a lens through which to view the human failings that comprise a part of every relationship.  And as Reza so aptly describes, these conflicts are never far from the surface.

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